Our boar are of Polish and German origin, they live in a family group (known as sounders) with one boar per sounder. The boarlets are weaned at about nine months and are then separated into male and female paddocks so that they can concentrate on growing and not engaging in any funny business! (The young boars begin to state their claim causing fighting.) The boar take up to eighteen months to mature, even longer than the old-fashioned pig.
The European wild boar has a lifespan of approximately 30 years. The males (boars) can weigh up to 550lbs (250kgs) and can stand taller than 1 metre at the shoulder.
Pure bred Wild Boar differ from pigs in a number of key physiological ways. They stand larger at the shoulder than at the haunch, their tails do not curl but rather remain straight (during moments of danger or attack the tail points upward but for the rest of the time it is regularly seen to be wagging like a dogs indicating contentment).
Our Wild Boar live a sounder consisting of females and young of different ages. This sounder is controlled by a dominant sow with a definite hierarchy existing within the group. The matriarch as a rule controls the breeding season as the rest of the sounder will come into season only once the dominant sow has started.
Approximately a week before farrowing the pregnant sow will begin nest building, a process which involves her gathering sticks, grass and some straw which we provide, into large nests usually located in a sheltered place away from the main sounder. The sow will farrow with minimum fuss and preferably no intrusion!
Despite the wild boars reputation as an aggressive dangerous animal it is only at this time that we have any experience of our animals being overly protective or aggressive. (Except with Julian, one of our stud boar – he is our logo too – who is totally contrary and will regularly have a go at me!). Each sow will produce between 4-9 young.
The wild boar is an extremely hardy animal that is capable of growth even during the hardest winter. Unlike the domestic pig, wild boar are not prone to illness or disease.
As with any wild animals, they are impossible to harness with conventional farming techniques. We also actively limit intervention where possible and both these factors mean that the meat is of course seasonal – the boar are ready when they are ready and caught when they permit!